Outreach Ideas from Joe Couch of Pike Grace Brethren
Joe Couch (pictured), lead pastor of Pike Grace Brethren Church in Johnstown, Pa., has a huge heart for evangelism.
Prior to the Johnstown church, Joe was director of outreach at New Beginnings Church in Myerstown, Pa.
outreach strategy is based on 1 Corinthians 9:16-27.
"First," says Joe
, "woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
We must be proclaiming, with our mouths, the biblical gospel to the lost world.
Secondly, we become all things to all men so that by all possible means we might save some; we do everything from street evangelism and open air preaching to relationship building and everything in between.
time at New Beginnings
led the church in very creative evangelism opportunities.
Training is also important to Joe
"Many times people have great ideas on how to reach those around them," says Joe
, "but they are too scared to do it because they think they don't know what to say.
Training them and taking them out on the streets helps them see they can share their faith and then they come up with great ideas on how to reach those around them."
believes it is vital for people to know how to share the gospel biblically.
"So many don't know and understand the gospel, much less how to share it with someone and defend it in our day," says Joe
"Thirdly," says Joe
, "from 1 Cor. 9:16-27, winning the lost is hard work and we must run in such a way as to win.
We cannot give up and we must work at it with all of our hearts."
has recently taken on the senior pastor role at Pike Grace Brethren Church
in Johnstown, Pa. He's
only been there since July, but already they have planned a 3D archery tournament with an evangelist from Alabama who is a prostaffer on a hunting show, planned a Creation Conference with Creation Worldview Ministries, and has continued their tradition of giving food and gift cards to needy families.
Many churches encourage RAK's (Random Acts of Kindness).
feels it's more appropriate to do PAK's (Purposeful Acts of Kindness).
"If you think about it," says Joe
sees much of Christianity in America shifting to putting faith in methods and strategies, entertainment and "draw cards," and that somehow the gospel of Jesus Christ needs help.
"Those things are not bad," continues Joe
, "but many pastors and Christians I have spoken with seem to have more faith in these man-made things than the gospel.
I have seen and still see many Christians who look at evangelism as a program or an event, not a way of life.
God has ordained only one thing to save mankind and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed (1Corinthians 1:21; Romans 10:13-15,17), our faith must remain in the gospel, and not the arm of the flesh."
believes that the gospel in the life and speech of a redeemed, changed, regenerated human being, filled with His
Spirit, ministering out of a local church, is God's method and strategy to save mankind.
"I believe when we see this," concludes Joe
, "we will focus most of our effort on equipping the saints with the gospel not strategies.